According to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski, September snow isn’t that unusual for parts of the U.S. — however, the AMOUNT of snow seen over the weekend and at such LOW ELEVATIONS certainly is.
Great Falls, Montana averages just 1.2 inches of snow in September, but as of Sunday, Sept 29 the city was at 19.3 inches (49 cm) with 9.7 of those falling on the Saturday alone, comfortably busting both the all-time one-day Sept snowfall record as well as the daily record for Sept 28 of 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) set back in 1954 (solar minimum of cycle 18).
Additionally, again according to the NWS Great Falls, the weekend’s two-day snowfall total of 19.3 inches is the second-highest two-day snow total ever recorded for any time of the year.
A fall storm of this magnitude had not occurred since 1934 (solar min of cycle 16), the Weather Service said, when it snowed from Sept 22 through Sept 24 and dropped 15.5 inches in Cut Bank, 15 inches in Choteau and 13 inches in Great Falls.
Gov. Steve Bullock on Sunday issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency due to the early arrival of severe winter weather in Cascade, Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Pondera, and Teton counties.
The emergency order allows the state to use all government services, equipment and supplies to assist local governments in protecting health and safety.
Temperatures in the NW U.S. are set to remain cold for the foreseeable, meaning the snow will stick around. Record-breaking lows of 10F (-12.2C) to 15F (-9.4C) are forecast for Monday night.
And looking further ahead, latest GFS runs reveal another historic early-fall snowstorm could batter southern/central Canada as well as the NW USA into the second week of October:
GFS TOTAL SNOWFALL (inches) SEPT 30 thru OCT 15
Here’s hoping farmers can get the crops in in time, what’s left of them anyway.
Wheat futures, for example, were already significantly up in early Monday trading on the back of the weekend’s historic winter storm.
The cold times are returning, in line with historically low solar activity:
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift